After decades of effort, the voluntary, collaborative approach to restoring the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay— the largest estuary in the United States—has not worked and, in fact, is failing. A diverse group of 57 senior scientists and policymakers have joined forces to save the Bay. This is our plan.

The Anacostia River Plunge

Top Chesapeake Bay scientists, legislators, and policymakers take the Anacostia River plunge to demand:
Clean and Safe Water Now!

WHEN: June 30, 2011, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Bladensburg Waterfront Park, 4601 Annapolis Rd, Bladensburg, Md.

WHY: To commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Clean Water Act’s missed deadline for the nation’s rivers to be swimmable by July 1, 1983.

WHAT: Despite public health warnings and the danger of infection, senior Bay scientists, policymakers and legislators will plunge into the Anacostia River to raise awareness about continued failures to enforce the Clean Water Act. Speakers will call on federal, state and local officials to take action on stormwater discharge and other measures to restore the Anacostia and all of the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay.

WHO: Leaders from the Anacostia Watershed Society, Anacostia Riverkeeper, former U.S. Senator Joe Tydings (D-Md.), Maryland state Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Prince George’s County), former Maryland state senators David Harrington and Gerald Winegrad and leading scientists

The Clean Water Act, enacted in 1972, promised that all American waterways would be clean for swimming and fishing by July 1, 1983. But 28 years later, this goal is far from met. Here in the nation’s backyard, the Anacostia River remains unfishable and unswimmable. Two billion gallons of untreated sewage and storm water are dumped in the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers each year, along with thousands of tons of trash and toxic pollutants. Resident fish from the Anacostia have been found to contain PCBs and other dangerous chemicals, as well as high rates of cancer and skin lesions.

Some progress has been made. The Anacostia has recovering wildlife populations and is safe for recreational uses such as rowing and paddling. But it remains very much unsafe for fishing and swimming.

At the event, organizers will release their detailed demands for tighter restrictions on stormwater discharge and other measures to clean up the Anacostia River and all other Chesapeake Bay rivers.

Join us! rsvp

Contact: Jim Foster, president, Anacostia Watershed Society, (301) 699-6204 ext. 105; (443) 994-9377(c);, or

Dottie Yunger, Anacostia Riverkeeper, (202) 391-9807(c);